To be honest, I didn't even know today was Veteran's Day. I thought it was last weekend, only because my pastor mentioned it. When I got to class this morning, though, we publicly recognized the Veterans in the room after watching an especially moving clip about their sacrifice.
Afterward, the Vets assembled onstage and we gave them a standing ovation that lasted over five minutes because no one wanted to stop clapping. At the end, one of them, wiping tears from his eyes, proudly lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
It is so easy for us to downplay or even forget the roles the Army, Navy, Marines, and the Air Force have played in securing our freedom and standing for justice. We forget that men have died so that we might have to freedom to vote, to chose our religion, and to be able to speak out about what we believe to be right and wrong. We have such a unique and beautiful nation that ought to be celebrated.
I've never been a super patriotic person, but it's hard not to get choked up when I remember the sacrifice these men and women have given for people like me. They are the reason that we have the right to vote, to chose our religion, and to speak freely of what we believe.
Thank you, Veterans, for your sacrificial service! It is a privilege having you defend us. And in particular, I'd like to thank my uncle, Henry Neustupa, for his bravery and honor during his time in the Armed Forces. You are a man of integrity and I will always appreciate your courageous heart. I'm thankful to have you in my life!